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Food Review #147

Galitos is a grilled chicken and other meats restaurant kinda like Nandos. They have one outlet in Lulu Mall, Kochi. The Mild spicy chicken is delicious and juicy. But that daiquiri is outta this world!

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JeruZalem

JeruZalem is a 2015 Israeli supernatural horror film written, directed and produced by Doron Paz & Yoav Paz. The movie stars Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn & Tom Graziani. The film makes use of found footage style of filming but using Google Glass instead of a regular vlogging or filming camera.

The movie starts of with a Youtube video shot in 1972 where two priests  are called to record an event at Jerusalem. It is revealed that Jewish, Muslim, and Christian priests were all called to perform an exorcism on a woman who supposedly died three days before. Her son claims she was calm at first, but became violent later, injuring her husband. After failed attempts to cure her, the priests decide they have no choice but to kill the woman. In a final attempt, the woman screams while sprouting leather wings, just before a priest kills her with a gun. Now move to current times and Jewish Americans Rachel Klein and Sarah Pullman have planned a trip to Tel Aviv for vacation, a year after Sarah’s brother died. Sarah has been gifted a brand new Google Glass by her dad.

On the plane their meet Kevin, who is fascinated by religious mythology (especially the dark angel, the Golem and the undead or zombies). He suggests that Rachel and Sarah join him on his journey to Jerusalem, and mentions that he wants to spend Yom Kippur there. They join him and go to Jerusalem and stay in a hotel/hostel run by Oman and his father. While Rachel starts an affair with Omar, Kevin and Sarah grow closer. The four friends enjoy their time in Jerusalem, party, and tour the city. When they visit the Western Wall, Sarah wishes for her recently dead brother Joel to return. As soon as she puts the paper into the Western Wall, a swarm of black birds fly over the Western Wall. Next they visit Soloman quarries but Kevin sees drawings on the wall, feels nervous and says he wants to leave, Sarah joining hi. Kevin starts researching the drawings and starts to get paranoid saying that there won’t be a tomorrow. Kevin insists on leaving, but Omar and his father believe that Kevin is crazy (apparently this temporary insanity affects a few people who visit Jerusalem) and send him to a mental asylum.

At night they see planes bombing part of the city and initial reports make it out to be a terrorist attack. Israeli soldiers come and tell the citizens that they should leave the city and Sarah tries to set Kevin free from the asylum, but Rachel and Omar, being escorted by two Israeli soldiers, refuse to stop and insist that they keep moving. Sarah convinces the soldiers to help her free Kevin. In the hospital, Sarah finds and frees Kevin. While in the asylum she seems a zombie like figure with sharp wings. They manage to escape and meet Omar and Rachel at the city walls. However, the city walls are closed and the city is under quarantine. Anyone who tries to leave is brutally shot down. The four friends don’t want to give up on their escape, and Omar’s father suggests sneaking out through underwater caves he knew as a child. On their way there they are met by demons who attack the civilians, bite them, scratch them to infect them, and eat their flesh. Kevin believes that the doors to hell have been opened. Sarah soon realizes that Rachel has been infected as well.

In the caves Rachel starts to get worse and the demons start attacking the group. Sarah falls down and Rachel regains control over herself, warning Sarah to run before killing herself. Sarah accidentally kills Omar’s father with a sword taken from a statue, when Omar realizes what happened, he commits suicide leaving Kevin and Sarah alone. They meet a creature with black wings who turns out to be Sarah’s brother Joel returned to life. Joel leads them from the caves. Upon reaching the other side of the wall, Sarah realizes that she has many scratches similar to Rachel’s on her legs and arms. She turns into a demon and flies into the air, while Kevin watches on in shock. Thousands of demons are seen flying above Jerusalem as military helicopters surround the scene and fires burn throughout the city.

Shabbily done and to be truthful I never once cared about any of the characters. If you do not like the characters it is hard to get into a movie and root for them or feel bad when the horror befalls them. Not one character is likeable or relateable. Some of the dialogue is corny and you understand when you get to know that the cast is almost all Israeli (meaning the girls are pretending to be American for the movie) and I just found it a run of the mill supernatural stuff. A 6 outta 10!

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The 2017 Oscars Winners List

Here’s the complete list of the winners:

Best Picture – ‘Moonlight’ by Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

Best Actress in a Leading Role – Emma Stone for ‘La La Land’

Best Actor in a Leading Role – Casey Affleck for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Best Director – Damien Chazelle for ‘La La Land’

Best Adapted Screenplay – Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for ‘Moonlight’

Best Original Screenplay – Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester By The Sea’

Best Original Song – ‘City Of Stars’ from ‘La La Land’ by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Best Original Score – Justin Hurwitz for ‘La La Land’

Best Cinematography – Linus Sandgren for ‘La La Land’

Best Live Action Short – ‘Sing’ by Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy

Best Documentary Short – ‘The White Helmets’ by Orlando Von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best Film Editing – John Gilbert for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Best Visual Effects – Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R Jones and Dan Lemmon for ‘The Jungle Book’

Best Production Design – David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco for ‘La La Land’

Best Animated Feature – ‘Zootopia’ by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Best Animated Short – ‘Piper’ by Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Best Foreign Language Film – ‘The Salesman’ by Asghar Farhadi

Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Viola Davis for ‘Fences’

Best Sound Mixing – Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’

Best Sound Editing – Sylvian Bellemare for ‘Arrival’

Best Documentary Feature – Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow for ‘O J: Made In America’

Best Costume Design – Colleen Atwood for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’

Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson for ‘Suicide Squad’

Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) – Mahershala Ali for ‘Moonlight’

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Young At Heart

What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

I have a favourite saying “You are only as old as the girls you feel” – so bring only the 18 year old chickies!

I would love to say that I truly believe in the song “18 Till I Die” by Bryan Adams. I know I am growing older, I am 40 and no longer the spring chicken I once was. But do I think like an older person? I dunno. For one, I see older folks thinking about certain things, speaking about certain stuff and in a certain manner and I am nothing like them. Atleast it seems like that to me.

I refuse to stop being silly, to stop dreaming, to stop not wanting or wishing and being a little silly. That will keep me young at heart. The moment I stop all these things then I am old and probably jaded.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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RIP Bill Paxton

Actor Bill Paxton who was famous for his roles in such hit movies like Titanic, Twister, True Lies & Aliens has passed away on 25th February. With a Texas twang and grizzled visage, Paxton often found himself playing military men and cowboys. He was closely associated with James Cameron, playing a punk leader in “The Terminator, as well as an ill-fated technician in “Aliens,” a venal car deal in “True Lives” and a treasure hunter in “Titanic.”

Paxton anchored a few films, portraying a tornado-chasing scientist in the box office smash “Twister” (1996), and a wildlife refuge director in the flop, “Might Joe Young”.  In most movies, Paxton cut a morally upright figure, the character actor equivalent of a Kevin Costner or Gary Cooper. But he earned the best reviews of his career for roles that upended his persona. He was gripping as a family man trying to hide stolen money in Sam Raimi’s “A Simple Plan”, and similarly effective playing against type as an ethically compromised lawman in Carl Franklin’s “One False Move” (1992). On the small screen, Paxton played a wife-juggling entrepreneur on “Big Love,” who is haunted by his association with a Mormon cult.  The series lasted five seasons, earning three Golden Globe nominations for Paxton. In blunt fashion, Paxton publicly disagreed with the violent way the show ended, decrying its lack of ambiguity.

In 2014, he played the role of the villainous John Garrett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Paxton also earned an Emmy nomination for the 2012 mini-series “Hatfields & McCoys,” and was starring as a morally ambiguous detective in the CBS series “Training Day” at the time of his death. Paxton earned critical acclaim for “Frailty,” a horror film he made his directorial debut with and starred in as a father beset by demonic visions. Paxton was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Mary Lou (née Gray) and John Lane Paxton. His father was a businessman, lumber wholesaler, museum executive, and occasional actor. His mother was Roman Catholic, and he and his siblings were raised in her faith. Paxton was in the crowd when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas on the morning of his assassination on November 22, 1963. Photographs of an eight-year-old Paxton being lifted above the crowd are on display at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas. He is survived by his two children, James and Lydia Paxton, and his wife Louise Newbury.

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Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.

I think a lot of us would like the ability to appear and disappear at will. Where would I use it? In the bathroom of the a women’s hostel ofcourse. No I wouldn’t. Maybe I would. Ok wait ….no I will be a gentleman and not do that!

I guess in everyday life whenever we wish we could come and go as we please. You can save on traffic and the time it takes to commute to and fro work for example. How about a tricky situation and you need to get out of there at the drop of a hat? Comes in handy. Find yourself in a dangerous part of town? Blink once and quicker than you can say “Bob’s your uncle” you are out of there.

I would use it almost everyday I guess whenever I felt the need to disappear. Can we do it to stop crime? Then by all means I would love this superpower. It can help to save lives then I am all aboard.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Let Go Of The Sour

You have to choose one flavor that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, spicy (not a taste per se, but we’re generous): which one do you choose to lose?

Hmmm, how do I pick the one flavour that my taste buds will no longer be able to distinguish? I kinda like all of them though especially sweet and sumami. Sometimes salty (like a nice bunch of french fries with the perfect amount of salt) and spicy. Tangy too! Savoury meats and stuff – ah!

I guess if I had to pick I would go with sour because well sometimes that hurts my tongue or my teeth and I don’t like the feeling but certain sour pickles or mangoes are really good but too sour for my tastes. Yeah, let’s go with sour. I guess I could let go of that taste forever.

Which one would you pick?

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Lion (2016)

Lion a 2016 drama film directed by Garth Davis (in his feature debut) and written by Luke Davies, based on the non-fiction book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley with Larry Buttrose. The film stars Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham and Nicole Kidman. It received six Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Patel), Best Supporting Actress (Kidman) and Best Adapted Screenplay. It also received five nominations at the 70th British Academy Film Awards, winning two for Best Supporting Actor (Patel) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Saroo is a 5 years old boy living in a poor village called Khandwa in India along with his elder brother Guddu, his mother and younger sister. His mother is a labourer who collects rocks for construction. Guddu and Saroo steal coal from freight trains to afford milk and food. One day Saroo follows his brother to a job and they arrive at a nearby train station, where Saroo decides to stay back and take a nap. Guddu tries to wake him up, but Saroo is too tired. When Guddu does not return, Saroo searches for him and boards a train presuming Guddu is aboard. The train, an empty passenger, takes off in the night as Saroo sleeps and he is unable to leave the train for 2 days. At Calcutta he tries to take a ticket home but no one recognizes his village of “Ganestalay” and he is forced to sleep on cardboard provided by a group of homeless kids. At night the kids are forcefully taken away by some adults but Saroo manages to escape.

He is taken in by Noor, a lady who who brings him back to her apartment and feeds and bathes him. She tells Saroo that a man, Rama, will help him find his way home but the attentions of the man, who works in the sex slave market, scared the boy and he runs away. A young man who sees Saroo from a cafe takes him to the police station but as no one can find his village on the map they take him to an orphanage. The orphanage is run more like a jail for kids but three months later, Saroo is introduced to Mrs. Sood, who tells him she has placed an advertisement about him, in a widely read local newspaper, but no one has responded. She then tells him that an Australian couple is interested to adopt him. She begins to teach Saroo English and he moves to Hobart, Tasmania, in the year 1987, under the care of Sue and John Brierley, where he slowly starts to settle in. A year later, they adopt another boy, Mantosh, from the same orphanage who has trouble adjusting to his new home and suffers from rage and self-harm.

20 years later Mantosh is living estranged from the family and Saroo is leaving for Melbourne to study hotel management. He meets and starts a relationship with an American student named Lucy. At an Indian friend’s home for lunch, Saroo is drawn towards a plate of jalabi which reminds him of Guddu and how they talked about eating the sweet which was a rare thing for them. He confides that he is adopted, and his friends suggest he use Google Earth to search for his hometown in India. Saroo begins his search but over time, disconnects from Lucy, overwhelmed by the thought of emotions his family must have gone through when he was missing. He eventually goes to see Sue after learning from John that she isn’t doing too well with both her sons being distant from her. He apologizes to her and  learns that she is not infertile, but chose to help others in need through adoption, believing that there were already too many people on Earth. Saroo also makes up with Lucy but still spends a long time searching fruitlessly for his hometown.

One evening, while scanning Google Earth, he notices the rock formations where his mother worked, and then finds the area where he lived: the district called Khandwa, and the locality, Ganesh Talai. He finally tells his adoptive mother about his search, and she fully supports his efforts. He travels to India and finds the village and has a tearful reunion with his mother and younger sister but is devastated to learn that Guddu was killed when he was hit by a train the same night that they went to the station as children. Their mother never gave up hope and believed that one day her missing son would return, and never moved away from the village. As the movie ends we see footage of the real Saroo bring Sue to meet his mother. Saroo, later learned that he had been mispronouncing his own name, which was actually Sheru, a diminutive for sher, the Hindi word for “lion”.

A touching film, spurred on by the awesome performance of the child actor Sunny Pawar who will win a lot of hearts. It’s a good story in a slow paced film that picks up only at the beginning and towards the end. I give it a 8.5 outta 10!

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Kajala Beans

A misused word, a misremembered song lyric, a cream pie that just happened to be there: tell us about a time you (or someone else) said or did something unintentionally funny.

Kajala beans! I tell you Kajala beans made me laugh so much and I literally couldn’t stop laughing for a good solid 20 minutes or so. It was so hilarious that just thinking of the words made me burst into laughter.

Many years ago, I think I was about 22 or so, I was in Mattancherry hanging out with some cousins and the two young ones, Aswin and Sree and I were cracking each other with jokes. I heard about this thing called “kajala beans”, a totally made up word by their older brother Harish. It doesn’t mean anything at all. But a song came up and we started singing kalaja beans to the tune of that song when at the end of the chorus one of my cousins farted – twice!

And it was in tune with the song! I laughed so hard and I kept singing “kajala beans a, kajala beans b and kajala beans (making farting noises)” and breaking up laughing. My cousins started laughing too but I just couldn’t stop! I was singing the line again and again and laughing so hard tears were streaming down my cheeks. I had to stop and compose myself but it was hard to do.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Unboxing The Andorian Battlecruiser *Star Trek Starship*

Hola Trekkies. We have another unboxing look at yet another Star Trek Starships from the official collection from Eaglemoss. This time it’s from Star Trek Enterprise and it’s a ship from an alien species that humans have a love em-hate em relationship that lasts for most of the series. Yes, it’s the Andorian Battlecruiser.

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The Andorian battle cruiser was a type of warship in service with the Andorian Imperial Guard during the mid-22nd century. The first ship of this class, the Kumari, was commanded by Commander Thy’lek Shran from 2142 to 2154. Since their launch in the 2140s, several Andorian warships of this type had been reported missing. When Enterprise NX-01 was attacked by a Romulan drone ship disguised as an Andorian battle cruiser, Shran suggested that the Tellarites may have been responsible, using one of these missing ships after enhancing its systems. In 2154, several Andorian battle cruisers were incorporated into an Andorian-Tellarite-Vulcan fleet which consisted of some 128 ships, formed in response to a Romulan marauder that threatened the entire region. In the mirror universe, the Andorian rebels utilized this class of vessel to engage the Terran fleet in 2155. At least two of these vessels were among the rebel ships attacking the ISS Avenger.

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The Andorian battle cruiser was considerably more rugged than the designs utilized by contemporary United Earth Starfleet vessels. Like all Andorian combat vessels, the Andorian battle cruiser was constructed using a “significant quantity” of duranium alloy. Despite the vessel’s fairly large size, it was crewed by a complement of only eighty-six. In comparison, Starfleet’s smaller NX-class had a standard compliment of eighty-three. The outboard plan of the Andorian battle cruiser’s design consisted of a central “spine” that contained a vertically bifurcated forward hull containing several decks. The central “spine” gradually narrowed toward the aft section of the ship where it connected to two vertically stacked warp nacelles. Located midway down the “spine” were a pair of forward-swept wings which contained the impulse engines and defensive systems.

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The defensive systems utilized by the Andorian battle cruiser included a formidable array of particle cannons composed of multiple forward cannon emplacements, port and starboard wing emitters, as well as dorsal and ventral emitters capable of firing in 180 degree arcs. The Andorian battle cruiser enjoyed an advantage over other less advanced vessels of this era due to its utilization of deflector shield technology. Nevertheless, this class was somewhat susceptible to attacks directed towards its shield generator. The shield generator itself was located distantly from the vessel’s power grid, leaving it vulnerable to damage.

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During the 2150s, Andorian technology was considered to be more advanced than analogous Tellarite technology. One Tellarite cruiser was said to not be able to “stand a chance” against two Andorian warships. The Andorian battle cruiser had a level of firepower comparable to the Xindi-Reptilian warship and the Vulcan D’kyr-type combat cruiser. In the mirror universe, this class proved significantly inferior to a mid-23rd century Federation Constitution-class starship. This was clearly illustrated when the USS Defiant, defending the Terran warship ISS Avenger from rebel attack, engaged and destroyed one Andorian battle cruiser within seconds and inflicted heavy damage to a second before allowing it to escape.

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The Andorian battle cruiser housed at least one shuttle. They also carried multiple escape pods. The bridge layout consisted of an inverted “half-moon”-shaped viewscreen located on the forward bulkhead, directly in front of the ship’s side-by-side helm and navigation console. In the center of the bridge was the captain’s chair, with two large convex dishes on either side of the chair. A semi-circle of four station consoles, each with its own stool, surrounded the captain’s chair, one each to port and starboard, and two near the aft. All four consoles were each attached to a support column which braced the bridge’s vaulted ceiling.

So that’s the info and pics of my Andorian Battlecruiser. Hope you like them and also please find below the unboxing video; the model came with the Kremin Temporal Warship.

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Old Photo Album

What’s the oldest thing you own? (Toys, clothing, twinkies, Grecian urns: anything’s fair game.) Recount its history — from the object’s point of view.

The oldest thing I own is probably a very old photo album that my parents gave me many years ago. It is pretty old maybe 30 plus years old as I remember I was not even 10 at the time. It is filled with photos of me, me with my sister and parents, me with my uncle and aunt and friends I grew up with during my childhood. These photos were all taken from the time that I was a baby to the age of 11.

This is my childhood in a large album. I will never be as innocent and cute as I was back then. I had a very happy childhood and I know that we can never be as happy and carefree as we were when we were kids. This is a reminder of a happier times and a more simpler and gentler times. When you felt safest and like nothing could ever go wrong with your world. When you did not know any better.

This is the oldest thing I own. And it could very well be the most precious thing I own.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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As Seen On TV

Write a script for a late-night infomercial — where the product is your blog. How do you market yourself? What qualities do you embody that other “products” don’t? What are the benefits of reading your blog?

Tired of reading blogs that have only one topic and rarely if ever blogs about anything else? Want a blog that is honest, down to earth and full of variety and good natured stuff? Look no further than www.AwakeandDreaming.org

Different topics from a personal view. Sports, movies, tv, photos, food, drink, local stuff, fiction, travel (occasionally), football, lots of images, music clips and other videos. Plus the usual banter on family, friends and what the writer did. It’s all fresh, it’s all sincere and it’s all genuinely true. So click your cursors onto www.AwakeandDreaming.org and join in the best blog you can see. It’s free!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Litmus, Litmus on the Wall

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

I dunno what question I could possibly ask. What one question can I put as a test to someone I’ve just met to determine if they could be a friend or not? “Are you going to be an asshole when we don’t agree on something?” I dunno but that might be a good starting point.

I guess a small conversation which reveals a lot about the person is something I would prefer. There are people who within one meeting I can gauge that they are a good person and are usually very reasonable and yet there are several other folks who it takes a long time to really get to know and only after a while what kind of person they really are and if you can be friends with them. So it really depends on the person you are talking about and even you.

Therefore I think it is best to give people a while and really get to know them before you trust them completely and open up to them.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Spending An Afternoon In Lulu

So, I missed posting this on Saturday evening as my internet was down until late night and on Sunday I plum forgot about it. Anyways, I woke up at 10am on Saturday and post coffee, a shave and shower I booked an Uber and went to Lulu Mall in Edapally. I was there to watch a movie (Hidden Figures) which was at 2pm. As I reached there just before 1pm, I had enough time to have a leisurely lunch and went to Bloomsbury which is right next to the PVR section.

Although I had my heart set on one of their pizzas, looking at the size of them made me doubt if I could finish one on my own and hence I went with a delicious pasta instead. I had the spaghetti alfreddo which was delicious and creamy and had grilled chicken chunks in it along with black olives. It would have been amazing but it needed more salt and so I added salt and pepper. I also had a shake before my food. I relaxed and people watched and later I walked around a bit until 2pm and went in to the theatre with my caramel popcorn and pepsi and enjoyed a really good movie.

During the intermission, Gopika who was also in the theatre saw me and we met after the movie. We talked for a while after which we went to Hypermart and did some shopping. I bought a few essentials and a few food items like mushrooms and stuff and then I treated her to an ice cream at Cold Stone and then we parted ways at 6pm when I booked an Uber and came back home. It was a good visit to Lulu.

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Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly about female African-American mathematicians at NASA. The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, a mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and other missions. The film also features Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson, with Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, and Mahershala Ali in supporting roles.

Although there are some changes for “film and creative purposes” this is a really good movie for all to watch. The film is set in 1961, and focuses on mathematician Katherine Johnson works as a “computer” in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, alongside her colleagues, aspiring engineer Mary Jackson and unofficial supervisor Dorothy Vaughan. The movie gives us an idea of what segregation in the US was like in those days and how Black-Americans had to struggle to get by and be treated as human being. The segregated bathroom for “coloured” women scenes were, if a little funny, terrible to think of what the women had to go through. Katherine running to and fro several buildings just to relieve herself is something no one should have to go through. White people not drinking from the same coffee pot, black having different public water fountains and not allowed to borrow a book from the regular section of the library – these are things that should shame society when we look back upon them.

What shone through were the strong scenes, the humorous side of things, the fact that these brilliant women never gave up (and never once lost their dignity or composure) and the strength of character. With some awesome acting and casting, this happens to be one of my favourite films that I have seen in recent years. I will give it a 9 outta 10! Kudos to the cast and crew and I hope a lot of people go and see this film. Surprisingly I had only heard about it a couple of days ago when I checked out what running in the theatres and found out more about the film.